Olfactory Outings

By Sydney Chandler A long inhale . . . traces of basil, rosemary, and thyme swirl into visitors’ nostrils. For some, these scents may trigger emotional responses, pull up vivid memories, or prompt reflection on applications of these plants. Golden Lemon Thyme The Fragrant Herb Garden is home to an incredible variety of herbs and…

What a Wonderful….Watery….World

By Greg Lecker A fine morning to be out, so says a parenting pair of Canada geese and their goslings.  The sun has just cleared the tree-line ringing the still pond between the visitor center and Green Heron Pond. Dawn on Green Carpet The glare of sunlight grazes a magic green carpet.  Magic carpet indeed! …

Spring in Full Swing

By Holly Einess When I was last at the Arboretum in early April I snowshoed through the white landscape, bright sun reflecting off the snow and hurting my eyes. What a different scene is before me today as I set off in shorts and sandals into a lush green landscape dotted with splashes of color….

Arboretum Dendrochronology Workshop by Dr. Brita Lorentzen, May 5, 2018

The following is a summary of the Dendrochrology workshop conducted at the Arboretum on May 5, 2018, by Dr. Brita Lorentzen of Cornell University: Cored 4 trees southwest of the Learning Center: Bur oak: minimum age= 1893 (125-year sequence) (reasonably close to the center, so we’re probably within ~10 years of the center) Red cedar:…

A Venerable Oak Tree

By Dan Miller Behind the Arboretum’s Andrus Learning Center stands an impressive Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa).  It is a well shaped tree approximately 60 feet tall and with a canopy spread of nearly 90 feet.   Although there are other oak trees at the Arboretum that are both taller and with wider canopies, as far as…

Bog Blog

By Sydney Chandler The secure boardwalk through the bog differs from the spongy mat below. The dense layer of sphagnum moss and roots form a nine foot deep layer of plant life that floats on twelve feet of open water. Gasses release from this layer causing a unique smell and subtle bubbling sounds. Below the…

The Best Season

By May Beth Pottratz The cool morning air warms in the bright sunshine. The breeze becomes tinged with sweet perfume of lilacs, hyacinth, and the simple freshness of tulips, daffodils, and new leaves. Common yellowthroat A little bird with a grey head, buff-colored breast and rich brown cap warbles from a branch low in the…

Ephemeral Awakening

By Mary Beth Pottratz Finally, spring has melted most of our deep snowbanks, daylight lasts longer, and bright sunshine is waking up our long-asleep trees and plants! I record 71⁰ temperature with brisk winds and a burning advisory. I hurry to the woodland wildflower garden to check on my favorites: the spring ephemerals and other…

Spring Onomatopoeia

By Sydney Chandler Gurgle gurgle gurgle. It’s exciting to welcome back the sound of running water. Based on the trails of animal prints, running water is an attraction for animals as well. Patter patter patter splash sploosh. Along the Three Mile Drive, a mix of anthropogenic and natural sounds are present. And there’s a gap…

A Last (?) Shot of Winter

By Holly Einess Several sets of snowshoe tracks on Wood Duck Trail tell me I’m not the only one embracing the recent spring snowfall. Setting out, I hear the cawing of a lone crow and look up to see it adding material to a twig nest (similar in size to a squirrel’s leaf nest) in…

Early Spring

By Mary Beth Pottratz Checking the Nature Notes board in the Great Hall, I smell the delicious aroma of maple syrup. The Easter Brunch has just ended! Ruby-throated hummingbird The skyway connecting the Oswald Visitor Center and the Snyder Building displays an interesting series of woodcuts and prints of birds with informational plaques. Titled Troubled…

Familiar vs. Unfamiliar

By Sydney Chandler Who we are is, in part, based on the places we’ve learned to call home and our interactions with each location. The visitor center currently displays “Then and Now: Somali Stories through Art”. Visiting this exhibit prior to exploring the grounds is a great kick start to reflecting on the life experiences…